Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Story of STUFF

We all have stuff.
I like to collect stuff.
I have lots of LEGO bricks, video games and Hellboy figures. (They're not dolls!)

Watch this animation about where stuff comes from and where it goes.

How much trash do YOU put out?

Are you a consumer whore?

You know they are planning to get to the moon to mine it? What will happen to the Earth when it's moon is a crusty husk? No more tides? Maybe we will fill up the mines with trash!

Damn, I sound like a raving lunatic...

Thanks for the link, Nate!


shun chu said...

I loved it. Thanks. She's absolutely wonderful. I love the script and how everything is so cleverly and tightly written. I also liked the fact that she doesn't assume everyone watching the animation is from America and knows what's going on in America.

spaceJASE said...

Yeah - it's pretty well done. She seems a bit extreme to me, but it's probably just a lot of passion coming through.

David said...

It's a well produced piece, but I wish she wouldn't play so many tricks with the stats - it undermines a good presentation.

Eg: 50% of US fed revenue on military? Nope. It's 50% of discretionary spending, a very different measure, but it sounds so much more convenient.


and I wish she would use the word "toxins" instead of "toxics", especially after ten years of study.

Thought provoking piece though.

spaceJASE said...

Thanks for making me think about this more!

Wikipedia to the scene!

This entry states that Military spending in the US is only 5% or so of the total GDP but more than 50% of the discretionary budget. 5% is a misleading percentage because the gov't HAS to spend 2/3 of the GDP on things like Social Security and stuff that has been made into permanent LAW. The other 1/3 is stuff that we the people can petition for - $$ we can fight to have spent on us. So to the average joe who knows nothing of the US economics, the gov't DOES spend MORE than 50% of their money on military.

It's all in how you look at it. One way we only spend 5%, the other way it's 50+% (more like 70% in the 2008 proposed budget - go Bush GO!)

I think it's more accurate to say 50+% because that is money AVAILABLE to be spent on things. The other 95% of the total GDP is already spoken for and spent so there's no use thinking of it as available.

Here's a snippet from Wikipedia:

The United states spends 3.7% of its GDP on its military, more than France's 2.6% and less than Saudi Arabia's 10%.[8] This is historically low for the United States since it peaked in 1944 at 37.8% of GDP. Even during the peak of the Vietnam War the percentage reached a high of 9.4% in 1968.[9]

Because the U.S. GDP has risen over time, the military budget can rise in absolute terms while shrinking as a percentage of the GDP. For example, according to the Center for Defense Information, the US outlays for defense as a percentage of federal discretionary spending, has from Fiscal Year 2003 consumed more than half (50.5%) of all such funding and has risen steadily.[10] Discretionary spending accounts for approximately 1/3 of all federal outlays.[11] Therefore, comparing nominal dollar values of military spending over the course of decades fails to account for the impact of inflationary forces, for which military spending as a percentage of GDP does account.

Again, thanks for bringing this up and making me think about it - it's good to try and understand this stuff. And I knew her spiel was a little biased; everyone is about something.

spaceJASE said...

My link didn't work...


David said...

Thanks for looking it up.

If she had said 50% of discretionary income it is still a HUGE amount and debatable as to whether it should be spent elsewhere.

She didn't need to mislead to make a good point and on something so easy to look up.


is a good source for remaining forest percentages of all the world's countries. Apparently, North America has only 76% of its original forests remaining, which is startling.

The movie said 5%.

The truth itself makes a good point. Why make it up and spoil a good argument?

I watched the whole thing carefully - Marty made it through five minutes!

Hose Head said...

Jase, I thought the video was fascinating. Wish I had seen it earlier so that I could have shown it to my classes. I thought the comment that after 6 months we will only be using 1% of what we purchase was a mind blower.